Television has been getting more and more expensive as it continues to prove itself as a medium that’s often the equal of cinema in the eyes of both audiences and critics. Just a few years ago, the thought of a single episode costing $10 million and above would have sounded ludicrous, but it’s the norm these days, especially on streaming.
Amazon are forking out $465 million for the first season of The Lord of the Rings, while the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Disney Plus exclusives are reportedly setting the studio back up to $25 million apiece for less than an hour of content. We can now add John Wick prequel series The Continental to that list of expensive episodic endeavors, following the news that it’s set to come armed with a budget of at least $20 million for each of the three episodes.
Having first been announced four years ago, The Continental is now on the fast-track towards production, and it’s undergone some significant changes. Once envisioned to unfold in the standard serialized format, the 1970s-set tale of a young Winston building his name and reputation as the man in charge of New York City’s titular abode for assassins is now a three-part small screen event, with each chapter set to run to a feature length 90 minutes.
Director Albert Hughes has signed on to helm the first and third episodes, with John Wick regulars Derek Kolstad, Chad Stahelski and David Leitch all on board as executive producers. It’s certainly an ambitious undertaking to refit The Continental as a trio of back-to-back TV movies, but looking at the talent involved, the team are more than capable of making it work, and it’ll be appointment viewing for Wick fans whenever it eventually premieres.